How to Sell SEL: Parents and the Politics of Social-Emotional Learning
Adam Tyner; Thomas B. Fordham Institute
This report draws upon the findings of a nationally representative survey of 2,000 parents of K-12 students to understand what parents think about SEL, how they understand it, whether they see it as more help or hindrance, and whether they have any concerns about its implementation.
Understanding where parents agree or disagree and how their perspectives might split based on their racial, political, and religious backgrounds can help those on the ground to implement SEL in ways that reaffirm familial preferences, values, and priorities.
Findings include that there is broad support among parents across the political spectrum for teaching SEL-related skills in schools, although some terminology for describing these skills, including the term “social and emotional learning” itself, is fairly unpopular. The survey findings yield insights into which language and implementation strategies may appeal more to parents across the political spectrum.